A statewide grand jury has recommended criminal charges against former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon and state Rep. Sean Ramaley, D-Beaver, as well as several current and former top state House aides in connection with the legislative bonus scandal.
Most of the suspects are accused of arranging hefty payroll bonuses for state employees in return for their help in House political campaigns. [ Read story ]
What do you think of the latest turn of events in the bonus scandal?
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name and hometown.
As a Green Party member I have always been outraged by Pennsylvania's profoundly undemocratic ballot access rules. But to have public funds spent to keep political opponents off the ballot? Well, that's a new low.
Paul Donahue, Brentwood
Many years ago I lived in the Mon Valley until our family moved to Beaver County in the early eighties. I was young and accepting of new ideas and people. But I also felt like I hit a wall in that county. I have dealt with some of the government entities (police, politicians, Child Services, the Courts) in Beaver County. Many times I ran into an attitude of pompousness, nepotism and general ill will. It seemed like if you were not connected to get something done, you had to beg or make people feel good to get it done. I also worked for two companies which 'supposedly' paid off the local Beaver County politicians to receive favoritism on government projects. Those rumors were from very reliable sources within those companies. There are some good people in that county's government, but the attitudes and arrogance of the bad ones ruined it for me. ... ... This is no surprise in a county where the unemployment went up over 20 percent in the bad years there. And Mr. Veon got into office around the same time those bad times existed. The corrupt nature of their politics is finally showing, outside their borders .....
Patrick P. Sampson, Dravosburg
Of course, considering human nature, there will always be "good & bad apples," as is the case here. However the present election system almost always guarantees that multi-terms leading to more & more acquired power will almost guarantee more of this kind of behavior. Limit terms and bring back more citizen representatives.
Donald E. Geis, Potomac, MD
All politicians are crooks. Their whole life's ambition is merely to find a way to make money without having to do any actual physical work for a living. They are nothing but legitimized con-men.
Thats why I don't care who is in power, and I'm not stupid enough to think one party is any less guilty than the other. I am a registered republican because I am fiscally conservative, but I am socially liberal and am sick of the government making laws telling me how to live my life.
If I ever voted again, it would be libertarian.
James Paul, Plum Boro, Pa
Arrogant? Audacious? Greedy? Self-serving? Not at all. Just some of the prerequisites you need to become a Pennsylvania State Legislator. The average possible jail time for the "first" ten defendants is 174 years and average fine is $351,000. I doubt if any of these dirtbags will be sentenced to just a fraction of that. Why would anyone having any self esteem, at all, want to serve with people of this ilk.
Rich Milito, Lower Burrell, PA
What do the voting people of Pennsylvania expect? To all you registered voters, I have a suggestion for you -- vote a straight Democratic ticket, yet again. That'll fix it for sure.
Michael M. Bierce, Brighton Heights
Even after all the indictments and proof of malfeasance, the idiot electorate insist on praising Mike Veon as one who brought home the bacon and supported his district,damn the other residents of this commonwealth that did not profit from the corrupt office holders.
I,for one wish that they are not given a slap on the wrist,or "Home " confinement.
After he was ousted,he continued to slop from the same trough he created,and he continues to be viewed as a hometown hero. Give me a break.
Give him and his ilk just desserts
Lou Argus, Buena Vista
Perhaps next Corbett should check out who got what when the gaming board gave the casino rights to Barden.
K. Paterniti, Coraopolis
I think it is a disgrace, however, not nearly as much as your lack of coverage on it. Your lead item on the website is about the sale of a Steelers Superbowl win. This paper is a joke anymore
Robert Walker, Pittsburgh, PA
What's the point of all of this? They all get to keep their retirement and lifetime benefits. If convicted they will never see time in jail. Many are already making deals for immunity to hang the next guy.
The only positive is that voters may wake up and attempt to do something about the corrupt legislative branch of PA government. Perhaps shrinking the size of it or going to all volunteers.
Bring back tar and feathers.
Mark Parrish, Pittsburgh
The latest scandal is just a testimony on just how arrogant and corrupt state government has become. The only state that the legisltors care about is the state of their bank accounts. What ever happened to all of the reforms that were going to get passed? We have to vote out all incumbents until we finally get some honest people who will work for us. We need term limits and major lobby (bribe) restrictions.
While on the subject of using taxpayer money for campaign purposes, were we not still paying Ed Rendell while is was AWOL campaigning for Hillary Clinton?
Scott Mulligan, Seward Pa.